The Supreme Court on Friday clarified that there was no total ban on use of firecrackers but only fireworks with barium salts were prohibited, PTI reported.

Fireworks with barium compounds produce more smoke when they burn. They essentially burn in bright green or white colours.

“It is made clear that there is no total ban on use of firecrackers,” the court said. “Only those firecrackers are banned, as directed hereinabove, which are found to be injurious to health and affecting the health of the citizens, more particularly the senior citizens and the children.”

The court added that citizens cannot burst firecrackers indiscriminately, hurting the right to health of others guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. “Nobody can be permitted to play with the life of others, more particularly the senior citizens and the children,” it said.

The Supreme Court said if states and Union Territories fail to implement its order, it will be viewed seriously. It directed the governments to use electronic and print media and local cable services to alert citizens on the court’s directions on manufacture, use and sale of banned firecrackers.

Calcutta High Court bans all fireworks in West Bengal

The Calcutta High Court on Friday banned use and sale of all kinds of firecrackers – including Supreme-Court approved green crackers – during Diwali and Kali Puja festivities, Live Law reported. The ban will extend till December 31.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by environmental activist Roshni Ali, who had requested a ban on firecrackers to secure people’s right to “clean and healthy air” particularly in the times of coronavirus pandemic.

The association of firecrackers opposed the petition. Advocate Srijib Chakraborty, representing the association, said that the Supreme Court had allowed manufacture and sale of green crackers since November 2020. He requested the Calcutta High Court to allow green crackers in West Bengal as well.

However, the court asked if it was possible to test how environment-friendly firecrackers were before November 4. “We can’t kill people by blindly following judgements,” the court said.

It further said that it would be impossible for police to ascertain the “veracity of the certificates of crackers” that will be used during the upcoming festivities.

The High Court has asked police to ensure that no kind of firecrackers are sold or purchased during Diwali and Kali Puja.